Good and bad Brexit news for UK expats in Europe

Published:  21 Jul at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
At long last, real news concerning UK expats in Europe is leaking out of the Brexit negotiations, but it isn’t all good.

The almost total lack of anything resembling concrete information for expatriate Britons caught in the Brexit fiasco has caused concern and fury across Europe’s favourite expat hubs. Squabbles between parliamentary factions, a disastrous last-minute general election and ministerial incompetence have led to UK citizens living and retiring overseas believing they don't count for anything with those making life-changing decisions.

Today’s report on the progress of discussions concerning the fates of the million and more Britons in Europe and the millions of EU expats in the UK at least gives an idea of both sides’ take on the issues, and may help those most affected make their decisions to go or stay. Firstly, as regards free movement and the right to remain, the British cabinet has finally agreed a hard Brexit position would be untenable, and is suggesting an extended period of adjustment until at least 2022, in spite of its effect on border control. In return, Amber Rudd and Phillip Hammond have accepted the UK’s leaving the EU customs union and single market.

The above is the good, or at least the slightly better news for UK expats, but the controversial issue of continuing healthcare is the bad news, as the EU negotiating team has flatly refused the UK’s request to retain its European Health Insurance Card scheme membership. UK expats living in European countries have long relied on the card for their health needs, especially as many are retirees drawing the British state pension and unable to afford private health insurance.

The former NHS lifeline for British citizens is now a fond memory, and the ending of the EHIC is likely to spell disaster for elderly expats as well as those with pre-existing conditions. Many recent articles have pointed out a similar disaster is likely to befall the NHS should waves of expats banned from the EHIC scheme are forced back to the UK.

Brexit secretary David Davis’s take is that, should the lack of EHIC support become a reality, an attempt to set up a unilateral arrangement could be made. As regards a transitional deal giving more time for negotiations, the EU is said to be in favour, but the millions waiting on the sidelines could face even more uncertainty.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive